I’ve been on Dutch national television, explicitly speaking about my “man cunt” and cruising as a proud transman with cis gay men. As part of the television series “Tent & Seks” by Sunny Bergman which breaks ground slowly but surely.
I’m being interviewed on a bunch of pillows in a tent in episode 3 of this series, named ‘Out of the Box’. About the fluidity of sexual preference and the fluidity of gender. This episode was broadcasted on july the 31st 2014.
I’m not super happy with the quotes they decided to take from me (the editing process was something I had no control over) but my real and only purpose to be in this was to show to the Dutch viewers that genderqueer/gay transmen’s existence is not some weird freakish Berlin/San Francisco phenomena, but that we also exist in the muddy landscape of Holland.
It’s in Dutch but there are many English speaking people in it as well. Amongst them two transvestites who verbalize their sense of self really well + two elderly gay bears that speak about how the mainstream doesn’t perceive them as gay while they are in fact deeply in love.
Watch all the other episiodes here too: www.npo.nl/tent-en-seks
Once in a while, I get harassed by gay guys for my trans status that I display openly. Don’t worry, it’s very rare. So whenever it does happen, I feel sort of ‘seduced’ to get into a smart dialogue with these people, even while knowing that some really are too stupid. Yes, dimwitted people do exist. And sometimes there just isn’t enough vomit in the world.
I can block these awful guys (they’re usually young and know nothing of the world; they may be afraid to lose their gay identity when discovering they feel I am quite handsome, so yeah, I know where it’s coming from). But… If I block them nothing is gained. It’s a systematic problem that needs to be addressed more publicly.
Three days ago this happened again. Out of the blue I got a message (with many spelling mistakes) from a guy saying “you do not belong here, gay men do not want a hairy woman“. Gee, thanks buddy, but I do not look female… The guy got totally irrational in his responses and showed no signs of being able to see the meta-view on his own actions, somewhere buried in his bad spelling. So I finally decided to email Planet Romeos’ support department, with the following message:
I have been using your site for many, many years now – with much joy. I am a transman, living a predominantly queer lifestyle, in which I have been quite successful. But I have one question: what is Gayromeos’ official stance towards transmen? I am asking this because today I was very aggressively harassed by 1 member on this site and this really was pure transphobia. It seems a little silly and ineffective to just simply block this 1 person – why should I be alone in this? – it’s not the first time for me I have to block someone because of transphobia but I just wish that Gayromeo would officially make a statement about being inclusive towards transmen, and perhaps display a sexy transmale feature photo or something + an article on how hot transmen are and why they deserve to be treated just like any other guy.
Especially now transmale visibility is getting so much bigger with pornstars such as Kay Garnellen and Buck Angel.
I hope you are with me in this struggle and I look very much forward to your reply and your help.
It took only 2 days before they sent me back this really nice message:
Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.
I am sorry to read you have been the victim of transphobic remarks from another member of our community.
I would like to emphasize the fact that PlanetRomeo is, naturally, open to transmen and transwomen, and that we condemn any kind of offence towards these groups, when ostensibly expressed within the content of a profile. This is the task our dedicated team of administrators accomplishes every day: we check profiles and reject those that do not respect our rules, by expressing or encouraging any kind of hate feelings towards other users.
However, because the privacy of our users is our priority, we do not have access to chat histories. Therefore, we can seldom interfere between two users, whenever a conflict arises. You did the right thing by blocking this user, and by bringing this to our attention. We want you to feel safe on our website.
You suggest in your message we should make a statement about Planetromeo being inclusive towards transmen. I will forward your suggestion to my manager and we will see what we can do.
In the meantime, I wish you a lovely day and hope you still have a great time on our website.
With Kind Regards,
Yes, this is all very nice and such, but will something actually happen now…? And will they inform me personally?
Guess we’ll just have to keep on dating and twist the minds around of all those hot homos out there, and keep on sending messages like these to the admins. That’s why we need more transmen on sites such as Planet Romeo and Grindr: you don’t have to be open about your trans status straight away (pun intended) but you’re surely worth dating.
And we all are surely worth some ethic of reciprocity.
The new year is here and I have updated the ever popular Golden List with *new* transfriendly venues in the Netherlands.
I am happy to say some major progress has taken place, since the all new gay sauna Nieuwezijds has included the ‘safe sex for transmen’ link! This is a first for the Netherlands really, for a gay venue to visibly be inclusive towards transmen.
It must have something to do with the fact that the ever so friendly people of Church are behind this. Quite avant garde.
At the moment their space is actually not safe enough for transmen, but they’ve only just started.
Read all about it in the updated Golden List under the letter ‘N’ of Nieuwezijds.
The STD info page on the transman.nl website is currently the only explicit and practical hands-on safe sex page for FTM’s in Dutch.
This year a rather more subdued, but very respectable, new site for Dutch transgender youth was put online. And I am happy to have been part of the info-leaflet. The leaflet has been spread all around the nation and I drew the full-page illustration for it + there’s a small interview with me about cruising.
I am pondering on what practical recommendations I could give for transmen particularly, and note that my experiences are set within the Dutch cultural and social context ofcourse and that I am Dutch myself. Also, this blog you’re looking at is very particularly focused on sex, sex, sex and a bit of culture/parties. This year my plan is to focus more on deeper connections, focusing on passive vs. active, and love relationships with gay identified cis men. If I would give suggestions now, it would look something like this:
– when going into a cruising bar, make sure you actually wear a limp packing device because you’re almost certainly going to be grabbed in the groin, which threatens your trans-privacy at an unexpected moment (the key thing here is: if you wish to disclose yourself, you should be able to do this at a moment of your own choice…)
– make up your own mind about wether you wish to disclose your trans status on your dating profiles or not, don’t let anyone tell you that you ‘should’ be open about it immediately before people even know you (and more important: before you even know THEM)
– just do it, go out there. Dutch gay men are a lot less afraid of gender than in other, more binary countries
There is SO much to say about all of these situations, I am actually hoping you transguys out there will just send me a list of questions so I can give some kind of guide in a more structured way. Also: you cis gay guys out there, if you are curious about transmen but dare not ask, hit me up so can I expand my page with info for gay/bi/queer men who are interested in transmen. Although actually Eros in San Franciso is already doing that fabulously within an American context.
So: don’t be afraid and contact me – or, if you’re into public exchanges, post comments below.
TransGold is now also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/trans_gold
Happy cruising and happy new year!
This week social (trans) media have been posting with lots of hoorays and cheers on one of the comics in the series ‘The amazing adventures of Bill.’
This particular comic from a gay male perspective pleasantly shows that it is definately possible for gay men to stay gay in every way when they date transmen.
I’m not happy with the repetition of ‘short’ and ‘short guys’ in this comic, because not all transmen are the same, but it might be true that statistically -on average- transmen could be shorter than the average cis male. Added to this is the fact that ofcourse it is possible for individuals to just simply feel a preference for short guys, so you can only assume that a transman really is this particular gay man’s dream come true.
I’d like to add to this: for gay tops/doms/Sirs it must be good to know that a vagina is actually a lot more muscled than the anus, so it is very likely to have tons more pleasure for active bio penises at penetration.
Increasing accessibility for ourselves:
Queerupting sexual spaces – integration or separation?
Took place on Friday May 31st
17:00 till 18:30 @ De Valreep, tent.
Jiro Ghianni, old school genderqueer, transguy and sexpositive activist had a question to all queer identified people (and others): do we need to create our own spaces and/or is it possible to bring queerness into heteronormative/ homonormative spaces? If so, how do we do this without making ourselves tired of the power struggle? How can we prepare the outsider for transgender bodies? And/or differently abled bodies? How to spread knowledge and awareness to gay cruising bars about transmen? How to discuss with heterosexual people without making them feel like you’re being judgmental? Should we create our own Shortbus or can we integrate into one place, change it from the inside and make it there?
Ofcourse there are already mixed mainstream sexual spaces, pansexual efforts and mixed BDSM playparties in the Netherlands where supposedly gay and queer and trans people are welcome. But the fact that you ARE welcome does not necessarily mean you will FEEL welcome. Jiro would love to gather some people who are interested in creating a queer sexy/play space.
This dialogue was mainly aimed at hearing everyones’ different experiences, ideas on kind, long term strategies and good practices. A side goal, could have been to actually pick and queerupt a sexual space (but this did not happen) or found our own group of pervy queers (we might be able to do that after the sunday sex party). Any tips on opening up accessibility for all diversities is still welcome!
During this dialogue all people present got a piece of paper with these questions (soon your content will be online in some form, wait for it…):
1a. I have a good example of this specific great (queer/transfriendly) thing at a sex/cruising/play party/space:
1b. I liked it because…:
2a. I have another example of this specific great (queer/transfriendly) thing at a sex/cruising/play party/space:
2b. I liked it because it made me feel…:
3a. I wish, I wish, I wish (or I know someone else who would really) like this to happen in future:
4a. I really wish this would not happen anymore:
4b. I don’t like … because (it makes me feel…):
5. I just want to say this random thing here,
or I would just really like to draw a picture of a cute animal:
The dialogue was led by Jiro and was not aimed to lead to consensus, so it was NOT a debate. This dialogue was simply aimed at exchanging different personal experiences and examples. No discussion here on who is ‘really’ queer and who is not.
Time spent: 1.5-2.0 hours
Future plans: will be announced on this website.
More info on the Fetlife event here.
“Kunnen bestaande seksplekken queerder gemaakt worden?”
For English: scroll down.
OVER DEZE SITE
De aanleiding van deze site, was deze blog post over m’n eigen ervaringen in de gay cruising scene. De belangrijkste vraag hier luidt: HOE kan een cis homo bar toegankelijk worden/voelen voor transmannen? Welke praktische tips werken?
Om het begrip rond transgender-vriendelijkheid bij alle mogelijke locaties te vergroten en stimuleren, bied ik daarom een beloning aan: de ‘Golden Seal of Trans* Approval.’ Deze ‘gouden stempel’ kun je verdienen, maar deze kun je echter ook weer kwijtraken en dan kom je op de verschrikkelijke, gevreesde BLACKLIST…
Deze site bestaat uit DE GOUDEN LIJST en alle strategieën en tips om er in te komen. Constant aan verandering onderhevig! Op dit moment zijn de praktische tips hier vooral gericht op seksclubs maar de bedoeling is dat ze ook bruikbaar gaan worden voor niet-seks feesten. Klik op de verschillende tabs: de bovenste zijn in het Nederland, de onderliggende in het engels.
Voor nieuws: scroll naar beneden op de homepagina voor recente blogberichten.
Let op: deze website is NIET bedoeld als een verzamelplaats voor algehele wenken aangaande transgender emancipatie en is niet gericht op het aanbieden van diepgaande gendertheorie. Ik concentreer me hier voornamelijk op de praktijk van feesten, clubs en (veilige) seks. En dan vooral voor transmannen en genderqueers in het FTM spectrum.
Deze website heeft niet het doel om te focussen op seksuele gezondheid van transgender Nederlanders in het algemeen, daar is nu een begin mee gemaakt op de Sense jongeren site.
De ontwikkelingen volgen elkaar snel op en het is nog niet voor 100% duidelijk wat nu precies veilig is (bijv: er bestaan nog geen condooms voor de vergrote transmannen clit). En ook is nu niet duidelijk wat veilig aanvoelt voor alle transgender mannen en transgender vrouwen: die zijn onderling zeer divers en hebben velerlei smaken.
Net zo divers als mannen en vrouwen die niet transgender zijn dus…
ABOUT THIS SITE
This site will contain info and documentation on transfriendly strategies.
Click on the different pages – upper tabs are Dutch, lower tabs are English translations. Most of these open source strategies are fitted to the Dutch society but may also be applicable in other western countries. Currently most strategies are focused on sex clubs but should also become useful for non-sex parties.
This site is not a guide to sexual health for Dutch trans* people in general, other sites are in development.